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Contact Tracing & Case Investigation

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What happens when a student reports a positive test to TCU?

When a positive COVID-19 case is reported to TCU, the TCU COVID-19 response team initiates case investigation and contact tracing to support campus members and to prevent further transmission by separating those at risk. This page outlines TCU’s case investigation process, contact tracing processand notification procedures for instructors when a student reports a positive test.

Case Investigation Process

Positive Test reported to TCU Investigator interviews COVID-positive individual and contact tracing begins. Dean of Students notifies instructor of verified absence Housing/Residence Life contacts student for isolation, care arrangements • Hall directors remain in contact with student for support services TCU EOC* sends courtesy notification to the instructor if student was in class while infectious Options for instructor: • Share a seating chart with investigators (if you have one) • Inform your class, but not required; close contacts will be notified separately Facilities initiates additional disinfecting protocols if needed

* The TCU EOC (Emergency Operations Center) is a team of TCU staff members supporting the university's COVID-19 response, led by the TCU Office of Emergency Management.

Contact Tracing Process

A vital part of Case Investigation is contact tracing. With a positive test, investigators identify “close contacts” — defined by the CDC as an individual who has been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with a COVID-positive individual. The process looks like this:

After close contacts are identified, they are contacted by TCU investigators. Based on university record, is the contact vaccinated? NO Unvaccinated Contact Contact is required to quarantine 10-14 days and will not be permitted at university activities. Contact is directed to notify instructor using email from investigator. Do symptoms develop? NO Contact is advised to test 3-5 days after exposure, monitor for symptoms, and remain in quarantine YES Contact is advised to: • Test as soon as possible • Remain quarantined • Notify TCU of results YES Vaccinated Contact Contact is notified and advised to test 3-5 days after exposure and monitor for symptoms. Do symptoms develop? YES Contact is advised to: • Test as soon as possible • Quarantine while awaiting results • Notify TCU of results NO If not symptomatic, vaccinated individuals continue to wear mask and are not required to quarantine unless they develop symptoms

What kind of notification will instructors receive?

In the event of a student testing positive for COVID-19, instructors may receive any of the three different notification emails from TCU outlined below:

If a student is in quarantine:

  • The Dean of Students Office does not notify instructors if a student must quarantine, but the student is advised to notify all their instructors.
  • Instructors may require to see the quarantine email that is sent to the student by the TCU EOC or contact covidresponse@tcu.edu to confirm their absence.